Relaciones Internacionales – Comunicación Internacional

Is our democracy in danger? (Yale and Stanford)

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November 2023

How Great is the Current Danger to Democracy? Assessing the Risk with Historical Data

Just how bad is the current danger of democratic backsliding in the US and around the world? Influential voices contend that democracy is in decline worldwide and threatened in the US. Using a variety of measures, Daniel Treisman will show that the global proportion of democracies is, in fact, at or near an all-time high. The current rate of backsliding is not historically unusual and is well-explained by the income levels of existing democracies. Historical data yield extremely low estimated hazards of democratic breakdown in the US—considerably lower than in any democracy that has failed. Western governments are seen as threatened by a supposed decline in popular support for democracy and an erosion of elite norms. But the evidence for these claims is sparse. While deteriorating democratic quality in some countries is indeed a cause for concern, available evidence suggests that alarm about a global slide into autocracy is exaggerated.
Thursday, November 30 · 12:00 – 1:15 pm PT

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